“Race City USA” Cements Image With Walk Of Fame
Richard Petty did not want a racing Walk of Fame to have stars.
The NASCAR legend was approached about the concept of a sidewalk tribute to racing heroes after civic leaders in Mooresville, also known as “Race City USA”, came up with the idea. Petty enthusiastically supported the plan, but didn’t want to see a carbon copy of that ‘other’ Walk of Fame in Hollywood.
“He said he wanted some sort of steering wheel, or loop, to represent racing”, said racing industry veteran John Dodson.
So with King Richard’s approval and advice, the North Carolina Auto Racing Walk of Fame was born. It was unveiled in May of 2009 along the 200 block of North Main Street in Mooresville, a permanent tribute to the thirteen inductees of the NC Auto Racing Hall of Fame, which is also in Mooresville.
Cale Yarborough's marker
While the Walk of Fame is Mooresville’s newest racing-based attraction, it certainly isn’t its only one. Besides the aforementioned Hall of Fame, Mooresville is home to Dale Earnhardt Inc., Penske Racing, JR Motorsports, and dozens of other race shops, as well as racing-based businesses such as the NASCAR Technical Institute. Mooresville leaders came up with the “Race City USA” moniker years ago to emphasize the ties between the town (about 30 miles north of Charlotte) and its favorite industry.
“Racing, as we know it, all started here in North Carolina”, said Ron Johnson, chairman of the Mooresville Convention & Visitor’s Bureau. “As long as we can, we need to preserve the heritage of motorsports.”
Now, that sentiment is “set in stone” on Mooresville’s Main Street.
added: October 6, 2009
updated: November 16, 2009